Pepe and Raul Meireles: Portuguese goals and victory

In the end of the first day of the EURO 2008, Portugal defeated Turkey 2-0. Pepe (Kepler Laveran Lima Ferreira) and Raul Meireles scored in the second half for the Lusitans.

During the first half Deco and Cristiano Ronaldo - who shot a free kick in the left post of Volkan Demirel- took the reins from the attack. The Barcelona midfielder played one of his better matches of the year. At 16 minutes Pepe already had warned: he turned with a header that was invalid due to an offside.

In the second half, three situations had Nuno Gomes as protagonist: at 4 minutes he shot in a post, and at 19 minutes shot with his head a center of Ronaldinho that also arrived to a post. But before, at 15 minutes, the own Nuno Gomes gave back the football to Pepe who scored: 1-0. As Vaclav Sverkos, it was the first time that Pepe scored for his National Team.

When the match was finishing, Meireles finalizes a counterattack by the right side that had initiated by Ronaldo in the left side and that continued with an assist of Moutinho: 2-0.

Turkey? Turkey tried when already it was at disadvantage but never could complicate Ricardo. Turkey will have to improve to beat Czech Republic and Switzerland.

The players of the match? Deco during the first half. Nuno Gomes in the second one. Due to the quality of the players, little by little, Portugal demonstrates that can be a great protagonist at EURO 2008.

Portugal: Ricardo, Bosingwa, Pepe, Carvalho, Ferreira, Petit, Joao Moutinho, Ronaldo, Deco (Meira 90), Simao (Raul Meireles 82), Nuno Gomes (Nani 68). Goals: Pepe 61, Meireles 90.

Turkey: Demirel, Altintop (Senturk 76), Cetin, Zan (Asik 55), Balta, Kazim-Richards, Emre, Aurelio, Erding (Sarioglu 46), Sanli, Nihat.

The goals: 60 min; Pepe. 92 min; Meireles (POR)

Yellow Cards: Kazim, Zan, Sarioglu (TUR)

Vaclav Sverkos returns to the goal and Petr Cech is hero again

Vaclav Sverkos is 24 years old and already had played in the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria leagues as centre forward. But Sverkos had been two years! Yes! Two seasons without scoring goals in official matches. Nevertheless, the entrance of the FC Banik Ostrava player in the inaugural match of the EURO 2008, gave the victory at his Czech Republic 1-0 against Switzerland in Basel.

The first half was not very good. Behrami was most disquieting in the first minutes, soon Frei armed several shoots from outside of the penalty area that managed to control Petr Cech.

The first half was not more than that. Little interesting. We thought “are the nerves of the debut? So, we have to wait 8 matches and 16 debuts to see good football?”

In the second half Hakan Yakin, which had entered by Frei, took advantage of his freshness to troubled Cech again, the best one of the match. But, were so good the Petr interventions? Was Swiss who turned him the star of the match? Any goalkeeper is able to clear the long distance shoots of the host team?

At 25 minutes, a clear of the Czech defense and a Swiss error caused that Sverkos (entered by the little the gravitated Jan Koller) has left alone in front of the goalkeeper Diego Benaglio and scored the single goal of the match.

Resting 11 minutes, Switzerland, that almost always had the control of the ball, had the most dangerous play. Tranquilo Barnetta shot a powerful shot that cleared Cech, bounce that Vonlanthen shot in the crossbar.

Czech Republic was only the goal. The historical Sverkos goal. But they have three key points and four days to improve the poor performance. Switzerland, that was more than Czechs during the match, finished with empty hands and with the obligation to defeat Portugal and Turkey if they want to be between the eight best teams of the EURO 2008.

To the margin of the poor match watched, it is worth to emphasize that it was a pleasure see fair play during all the time, few fouls and that the Czechs never tried to delay the match after putting itself in advantage. For that reason Welcome EURO 2008!

The lineups:
Switzerland: Benaglio, Magnin, Senderos, Lichtsteiner (Vonlanthen 75), Inler, Frei (Hakan Yakin 46), Streller, Fernandes, Barnetta, Behrami (Derdiyok 84), Muller.

Czech Republic: Cech, Grygera, Polak, Galasek, Jankulovski, Sionko (Vlcek 83), Koller (Sverkos 56), Jarolim (Kovac 87), Plasil, Ujfalusi, Rozehnal.

The goal: 70 min; Vaclav Sverkos (CZE)

Yellow Cards: Magnin, Vonlanthen, Barnetta (SUI)

Quim, an historical disappointment

Joaquim Manuel Sampaio da Silva, known as Quim, was injured during a practice of the Portuguese team. After taking place examinations, the fracture in one of its fists was confirmed and he left in these hours the concentration of Felipe Scolari team.

In spite of not being serious the injury, the SL Benfica goalkeeper will have to be between four and six weeks resting. Thus Ricardo will be the main Portugal goalkeeper in this EURO 2008 who will be playing since today in the Group A.

Here we have the lineups of the second match of the EURO 2008:

Ricardo; Bosingwa, Pepe, Ricardo Carvalho, Paulo Ferreira; Petit, João Moutinho, Deco; Cristiano Ronaldo, Simão, Nuno Gomes.

Volkan; Sabri, Zan, Server, Balta; Marco Aurélio, Altintop, Emre; Arda, Tuncay, Nihat.
Source: A Bola


Waiting for the Opening match: Switzerland - Czech Republic

Tomorrow, Switzerland will face the Czech Republic in Basel in the opening match of Euro 2008.

Switzerland also took part in the opening match of the European Championship in 1996, a 1-1 draw against England.

Czechoslovakia featured in consecutive opening matches in 1976 and 1980.In 1980 the Czechs fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of West Germany.

Four years earlier, Czechoslovakia beat the Netherlands 3-1 after extra time in the first match of the final tournament of 1976.

Opening matches at European Championship

7 Jun 2008 St. Jakob-Park Basel, Switzerland – Czech Republic

12 Jun 2004 Estádio do Dragão Porto, Portugal - Greece 1-2

10 Jun 2000 Koning Boudewijnstadion Brussels, Belgium – Sweden 2-1

8 Jun 1996 Wembley Stadium London, England – Switzerland 1-1

10 Jun 1992 Råsunda Fotbollstadion Stockholm, Sweden – France 1-1

10 Jun 1988 Rheinstadion Düsseldorf, West Germany – Italy 1-1

12 Jun 1984 Parc des Princes Paris, France – Denmark 1-0

11 Jun 1980 Stadio Olimpico Rome, West Germany – Czechoslovakia 1-0

16 Jun 1976 Stadion Dinamo Zagreb, Czechoslovakia – Netherlands 3-1 aet

14 Jun 1972 Bosuil Antwerp, Belgium – West Germany 1-2
14 Jun 1972 Astrid Park Brussels, Soviet Union – Hungary 1-0

5 Jun 1968 Stadio Artemio Franchi Florence, Yugoslavia – England 1-0
5 Jun 1968 Stadio San Paolo Naples, Italy – Soviet Union 0-0

17 Jun 1964 Camp Nou Barcelona, Soviet Union – Denmark 3-0

6 Jul 1960 Parc des Princes Paris, France – Yugoslavia 4-5

Source: Infostrada Sports

Probable Opening Match Lineups:

Benaglio; Degen, Magnin, Senderos, Eggimann; Barnetta, Cabañas, Huggel, Vonlanthem; Frei, Streller.

Czech Republic:
Cech; Grygera, Jankulovski, Rozenhal, Kovac; Galasek, Plasil, Polak, Matejovsky, Sionko; Koller.

Fernando Niño Torres: The Kid

Fernando Jose Torres Sanz was born 24 years ago in Fuenlabrada. He played six seasons in the First Division of the Spanish League with Atlético Madrid. His wonderful campaign in the club of the Spanish capital gave him the possibility of arriving at the Liverpool.

In the club of The Beatles city his first season was flawless. He was protagonist in the Premier League and the Champions League. Altogether he scored 24 goals in 33 matches. This mark gave him the title of the best player of Liverpool FC of the season. Also, he finished fourth in the European Golden Shoe career, only behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Mallorca’s Daniel Güiza and Klaas Jan Huntelaar.

We already knew his artist dowries. We will see if in the EURO 2008 he can make something interesting with Spain, a Spain pressed by its own people, always candidate but who couldn’t pass the quarterfinals for years. With Spain, The Kid scored 15 goals in 47 matches. In this EURO we calculate that if he scores at least four times, Spain could be protagonist after 44 years. Spain needs him.


In the last previous match, Xavi Hernandez saved Spain

In Santander, Spain did not convince. Luis Aragones team only beat United States of America 1-0. Just in the second time, when Güiza, Senna, De la Red and Fernando Navarro entered, they changed the development of the match.

For want of 11 minutes a great play of Xavi sealed the final result. Thus, still without satisfying the Spanish fan, La Furia Roja has played 16 meetings without knowing the defeat.

It was the last previous friendly match before the EURO 2008. Yes. No more friendlies. The hour of truth arrived.

Spain: Iker Casillas - Sergio Ramos, Carlos Marchena, Carles Puyol, Joan Capdevila (Fernando Navarro, 52) - Santiago Cazorla, Xabi Alonso (Senna, 46), Xavi Hernández, Cesc Fábregas (Arbeloa, 84), David Silva (De la Red, 57) - Fernando Torres (Güiza, 46)

USA: Tim Howard (Guzand, 46) - Steve Cherundolo (Hejduk, 46), Oguchi Onyewu, Carlos Bocanegra, Heath Pearce - Eddie Lewis (Wolff, 79), Maurice Edu, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey (Mastroeni, 86) - Eddie Johnson, Freddy Adu (Beasley, 46)

Konstantin Zyrianov, Andrei Arshavin, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Vladimir Bystrov in another Russian demonstration

In Burghausen, during the last day of friendlies preceding the EURO 2008, Russia beat Lithuania 4-1.

Zyrianov (33rd), Arshavin (52nd), Pavlyuchenko (64th) and Bystrov (80th) scored in an interesting match played by Russia. Lithuanian Savenas (24th) had made the first goal of the match. Also, Russian Diniyar Bilyaletdinov shot a penalty on top the crossbar at 62 minutes. In spite of everything Lithuania deserved to go resting in advantage in the half-time.

Guus Hiddink’s team scored 12 goals in the last three friendly games signifying to be at a great moment before the debut on Tuesday against Spain in Innsbruck.

The lineups:
Malafeev, V Berezutski, Ignashevich, A Berezutski (Yanbaev 14), Kolodin (Shirokov 46), Torbinskiy, Semak (Semshov 46), Zyrianov (Bilyaletdinov 46), Adamov (Pavlyuchenko 46), Arshavin, Sychev (Bystrov 55).

Lithuania: Karcemarskas, Semberas (Labukas 47), Dedura, Skerla, Zvirgdzauskas, Savenas (Kalonas 61), Danilevicius, Mikoliunas (Sernas 77), Papeckys (Alunderis 83), Cesnauskis (Skroblas 69), Poskus (Beniusis 76).


Simao Sabrosa: a Golden member

In spite of some injuries suffered along the season, midfielder Simao Sabrosa was one of the most valuables players of the Spanish team, Atletico de Madrid. Simao had a great performance in his return to the Spanish First Division (previously he played two years with Barcelona).

In connection with Agüero and Forlan, the Portuguese player was determinant for the team’s aspirations. Overall, he scored seven goals with his squad this year and made several assists.

He takes part of a Portuguese “golden generation” with players such as Deco, Quaresma or Cristiano Ronaldo. Simao is an offensive player, which plays near to the extremes of the field, with outstanding technique and with great skills in the free kicks. Not in vain, Atletico have paid 20 millions Euros to obtain his services.

During his great career, Simao obtained three titles: Portuguese Cup (2004), Portuguese League (2005) and the Portuguese Supercup (2005), all of them defending the colors of Benfica. Now, he has the great opportunity to make history with the national team of his country.

Written by Miguel Fernandez: No, gracia a vo´ owner.


Franck Ribery scored and France defeated Colombia in the 100th match of Thierry Henry

In the cap number 100 of Thierry Henry, his team France defeated Colombia 1- 0. Franck Ribery at 24 minutes of the first time scored the single goal of the match via penalty kick.

In Paris, the French victory wasn’t bulkier because Agustín Julio, the Colombia goalkeeper blocked individual arrivals of Thierry Henry, Karim Benzema and Florent Malouda.

France played the last game before the debut in the EURO against Romania on Monday. Meanwhile, Colombia will face Peru and Ecuador next week as part of the World Cup 2010 Qualifying.

The Lineups:
Gregory Coupet; Willy Sagnol, William Gallas, Eric Abidal, Lilian Thuram; Claude Makelele, Jeremy Toulalan, Frank Ribery (Samir Nasry, 75), Florent Malouda; Thierry Henry (Nicolas Anelka, 75), Karim Benzema (Lassana Diarra, 65).

Colombia: Agustin Julio; Ruben Dario Bustos, Cristian Zapata, Walter Moreno, Pablo Armero; Juan Carlos Escobar (Freddy Guarin, 80), Jose Amaya, Carlos Sanchez (Stalin Motta, 80), Giovanny Hernandez (Macnelly Torres, 65); Radamel Falcao Garcia (Roberto Polo, 49) y Edixon Perea (Edwin Valencia, 86). D.T: Jorge Luis Pinto.

Fabio Cannavaro replaced by Alessandro Gamberini

The Italian defender Fabio Cannavaro suffered an injury in the left ankle during the training of his National Team and he will not be able to be part of the EURO 2008.

The Real Madrid player, elected the best of the world in 2006, will not be able to dispute his third EURO in his career 37 years old.

The defender Alessandro Gamberini was summoned by Roberto Donadoni in replacement of the centre back. The Fiorentina team member play two match with the Azzurra t-shirt.

The FICG confirmed the information.


Poor results designed by Poland, Greece and Sweden

On Sunday, worrisome performances showed three of the teams that will be at EURO 2008. Beyond the comfortable victory of the Netherlands, they were not good news about Poland, Greece and Sweden, six days to begin the competition.

In Chorzov, Poland only could tie in a goal against Denmark. Martin Vingaard put in advantage the Danish whereas Jacek Krzynowek put the match 1-1. Maciej Zurawski had missed a penalty kick when Denmark still was winning.

Boruc, Wasilewski, Jop, Bąk, Wawrzyniak (Golanski 46), Zahorski (Lobodzinski 46), Dudka, Lewandowski, Krzynowek (Gargula 78), Smolarek (Saganowski 77), Żurawski (Guerreiro 46).

Denmark: Thomas Sorensen, Jacobsen, Christensen, Kroldrup, Jorgensen (Rasmusen 46), Rommedahl, Retov (Kristensen 64), Poulsen (Augustinussen 78), Nordstrand (Perez 46), Vingaard (Kvist 68), Bendtner (Dennis Sorensen 90).

Greece did not have a good night either. In Offenbach, Greeks only could tie with Armenia 0-0.

Greece: Nikopolidis, Seitaridis, Kyrgiakos, Dellas (Antzas 46), Spiropoulos (Torosidis 46), Basinas, Katsouranis, Karagounis (Patsatzoglou 46), Charisteas, Salpingidis (Gekas 46), Amanatidis (Samaras 46).

Armenia: Kasparov, Hovsepyan, Arzumanyan, Arakelyan, Voskanian, Hamlet Mkhitaryan (A Minasyan 65), Ghazaryan (Melkonyan 60), Piseli (Hakobyan 54), Pachajyan, Mkrtchyan, Tadevosyan.

But it was Sweden who worse experience realized. A goal of Sergiy Nazarenko lacking seven minutes gave the victory to the Ukraine that didn’t include Andriy Shevchenko in Stockholm.

Sweden: Isaksson (Shaaban 46), Nilsson, Hansson, Mellberg, Alexandersson (Stoor 72), Wilhelmsson, Linderoth (Svensson 56), Kallstrom, Sebastian Larsson (Ljungberg 46), Henrik Larsson, Ibrahimovic (Elmander 56 (Allbäck 76)).

Ukraine: Pyatov, Shevchuk, Rusol (Chygrynskiy 46), Kucher, Yarmash, Nazarenko, Levchenko (Mandzyuk 46), Kravchenko, Gai, Gomenyuk (Gladkiy 66), Seleznev.

Thus, just at the moment that the squads look for confidence, three of them had left a question mark few hours to begin EURO 2008.


Wales beaten by Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder without nuisance

Followed by 50,000 spectators in Rotterdam, Netherlands defeated without greater frights against Wales in which it was his last previous matches before EURO 2008.

The goals were made by Real Madrid players: Robben at 35 minutes and Sneijder at 54 minutes.

While Holland aims to have the best rate of game for the European Championship, Wales proved with a very young group.

Coach Van Basten shows preoccupation about the lack of effectiveness in Netherlands team.

Netherlands: Edwin van der Sar, André Ooijer (46. Mario Melchiot), John Heitinga, Joris Mathijsen (80. Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink), Giovanni van Bronckhorst (46. Tim de Cler), Rafael van der Vaart (67. Ibrahim Afellay), Demy de Zeeuw (46. Nigel de Jong), Wesley Sneijder, Orlando Engelaar (46. Dirk Kuijt), Arjen Robben, Ruud van Nistelrooij.

Wales: Wayne Hennessey, Sam Riccketts (77. Andrew Crofts), Lewin Nyatana, Ashley Williams, Craig Morgan, Chris Gunter, David Edwards (56. Ched Evans), Carl Robinson (46. Jack Collison), Jason Koumas (73. Sam Vokes), Joe Ledley (88. Neal Eardley), Freddy Eastwood (56. Craig Bellamy).

Michael Ballack and Oliver Neuville saved Germany against Serbia

This weekend we have a friendly storm. Waiting anxiously the EURO 2008 matches, here we have saturday results.

Germany 2 - Serbia 1

Germany 0 - Serbia 1: Bosko Jankovic; 18th minute.
Germany 1 - Serbia 1: Oliver Neuville; 74th minute.
Germany 2 - Serbia 1: Michael Ballack; 82nd minute.

The important forward: Coach Joachim Loew had taken the precaution of resting striker Miroslav Klose, who has a minor ankle problem.

Jens Lehmann, Philipp Lahm (Lukas Podolski, 45), Per Mertesacker (Arne Friedrich, 45), Christoph Metzelder, Marcell Jansen (Heiko Westermann, 84), Clemens Fritz, Torsten Frings (Simon Rolfes, 70), Michael Ballack, Bastian Schweinsteiger (David Odonkor, 79), Mario Gomez, Kevin Kuranyi (Oliver Neuville, 70).

Serbia: Vladimir Stojkovic, Antonio Rukavina, Nemanja Vidic, Branislav Ivanovic, Ivica Dragutonovic, Milan Smiljanic, Stefan Babovic, Bosko Jankovic (Zoran Tosic, 82), Zdravko Kuzmanovic, Sasa Ilic (Dejan Milovanovic, 73), Marko Pantelic (Danko Lazovic, 45).

Spain 2 - Peru 1

Spain 1 - Peru 0: David Villa; 38th minute.
Spain 1 - Peru 1: Hernan Rengifo; 76th minute.
Spain 2 - Peru 1: Joan Capdevila; 90th minute.

Iker Casillas; Sergio Ramos, Marchena, Carles Puyol, Joan Capdevila; Andres Iniesta (61', Santiago Cazorla), Xabi Alonso (46', Marcos Antonio Senna), Xavi (46', Cesc Fabregas), David Silva (84', Sergio Garcia); David Villa (57', Ruben De La Red) y Fernando Torres (46', Daniel Gonzalez Güiza).

Peru: Leao Butron; Guillermo Salas, Alberto Rodriguez (24', Miguel Villalta), Walter Vilchez, Luis Hernandez; Nolberto Solano (90', Miguel Cevasco), Rainer Torres, Rinaldo Cruzado (46', Juan Carlos Mariño), Martin Hidalgo (73', Donny Neyra), Daniel Chavez (65', Hernan Rengifo); Paolo Guerrero.

France 0 - Paraguay 0


France: Gregory Coupet; Patrice Evran, Francoise Clerc, Sebastien Squilaci, Jean-Alain Boumsong; Jeremy Toulalan (70 Nasri), Claude Makelele (46 Diarra), Frank Ribery (46 Govou), Florent Malouda; Thierry Henry (46 Gomis), Karim Benzema (62 Anelka).

Paraguay: Justo Villar; Denis Caniza, Pedro Benítez, Paulo Da Silva, Darío Verón, Aureliano Torres; Victor Caceres (82 Santana), Edgar Barreto (89, Carlos Paredes), Sergio Aquino (41 Estigarribia); Roque Santa Cruz (56 Cardozo) y Nelson Haedo Valdez (68 Nelson Haedo).

Portugal beat Georgia 2-0

Joao Moutinho; 19th minute.
Simao Sabrosa (penalty kick); 45th minute.

Portugal: Ricardo (Quim 46), Bosingwa (Miguel 63), Ricardo Carvalho (Bruno Alves 46), Pepe (Fernando Meira 63), Paulo Ferreira, Petit (Miguel Veloso 46), Joao Moutinho (Hugo Almeida 71), Deco (Raul Meireles 46), Cristiano Ronaldo (Nani 46), Simao Sabrosa (Ricardo Quaresma 46), Nuno Gomes (Helder Postiga 63).

Georgia: Loria, Lobjanidze, Asatiani, Khizanishvili, Navalovski (Merebashvili 82), Kenia (Barabadze 69), Mentesashvili (Sanaia 69), Kobiashvili, Tskitishvili (Klimiashvili 46), Iashvili (Devdariani 46), Aleksidze.

Romania 4 - Montenegro 0

Adrian Mutu: 15th minute
Sorin Ghionea: 49th minute
Nicolae Dica: 55th and 70th minute

Romania: Lobont (M Popa 46), Contra, Tamas (Ghionea 46), Radu, Rat, Petre, Radoi (Codrea 46), Cocis (Dica 46), Chivu, Marica (Marius Niculae 46), Mutu (Daniel Niculae 46).

Montenegro: M Bozovic, Pavicevic, Tanasijevic, Jovanovic (Ognjanovic 76), V Bozovic, Bogavac (Dalovic 70), Drincic, Pekovic (Novakovic 72), Boskovic, Burzanovic (Jovetic 46), Vucinic (Porovic 86).

Hungary 1 - Croatia 1

Hungary 0 - Croatia 1 Niko Kovac: 23th minute.
Hungary 1 - Croatia 1 Niko Kovac again ! (auto-goal): 44th minute.

Croatia: Pletikosa, Corluka, R Kovac (Knezevic 62), Simunic, Pranjic, Srna, N Kovac, Modric, Kranjcar (Vukojevic 62), Petric (Klasnic 46), Olic (Rakitic 46).

Hungary: Fulop, Bodnar, Vasko, Juhasz, Bodor, Gera, Dardai (Szelesi 88), Vadocz, Dzsudzsak (Orosz 63), Hajnal, Huszti.